Saturday, April 13, 2013

►► SÃO TOMÉ & PRÍNCIPE: South African Beechcraft 1900C disappears into Gulf of Guinea in rough weather; no survivors.

A South African registered Beechcraft 1900C-1 (unconfirmed MCN UC-74 | ZS-PHL) has reportedly disappeared without trace in the Gulf of Guinea, 14km off the coast of the West African nation of São Tomé & Príncipe.

Beechcraft 1900C ZS-PHL
Beechcraft 1900C ZS-PHL
While press reports at this time are sketchy, and conflicting at times, the aircraft is understood to have been on a ferry flight from Johannesburg's Lanseria Airport to Mali for Sahel Aviation Service (SAS) based in Bamako, with en route stops scheduled for Namibia, São Tomé & Principe and Ghana. 

Initial reports corroborated the above claims saying "the aircraft was arriving from Namibia and due in São Tomé at 16h13 en route to Ghana on Sunday." It goes on to add that at some point "the tower lost contact with the pilot due to bad weather which consisted of heavy rain accompanied by strong winds and lightning."

The Beechcraft had on board 1 pilot.

From a site (see bleow) set up to find the missing pilot, identified as "Jerry Krause."
"American missionary Jerry Krause’s plane went missing on an Africa ferry flight of a Beech 1900C aircraft from South Africa to Mali on Sunday, April 7th.  Jerry is a former member of the Mission Aviation Fellowship, but when MAF pulled out of Mali in 2009 Jerry stayed on with Sahel Aviation to continue serving there. Jerry has a wife, Gina, and three children. Jerry regularly uses an iPhone to communicate with his family stateside, and the iPhone was on at the time local authorities lost contact with the plan."
Source [findjerry]